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From: Genesis 28:10-22a

Jacob’s Dream

[10] Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. [11] And he came to a cer-
tain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of
the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to
sleep. [12] And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the
top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and
descending on it! [13] And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the
Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which
you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; [14] and your descendants
shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and
to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants
shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. [15] Behold, I am with you
and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will
not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you.” [16] Then
Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I
did not know it.” [17] And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”

[18] So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone which he had put
under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. [19] He
called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.
[20] Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in
this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, [21] so that
I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, [22a]
and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house.”


28:10-22 The narrative continues with this scene which deals with the first appea-
rance of God to Jacob, when he confirms to him the promise he made to Abra-
ham; it also recalls the foundation of the shrine at Bethel.

It is significant that these events occur in Canaan, the land of the promise and
the land to which Jacob and his sons will later have reason to return. After the
exodus from Egypt and the conquest of the land, the Israelites consulted [the
LORD] at Bethel (cf. Judg 20:18, 26-28); and after the division of the country
into two kingdoms, on the death of Solomon, Bethel became one of the main
religious shrines of the Northern kingdom (cf. 1 Kings 12:26-33).

In the context in which it appears here, the account of Jacob’s dream shows how
the patriarch, strengthened by God who has revealed to him his plan, is now able
to face the long years which he will have to spend away from the promised land.
The Lord will not appear to him again until he returns (cf. 32:22-32). The Lord
does the same thing with us, sometimes allowing quite a time to go by when we
do not feel his presence. “You told me that God sometimes fills you with light for
a while and sometimes does not. I reminded you, firmly, that the Lord is always
infinitely good. That is why those moments of light are enough to help you carry
on; but the times when you see no light are good for you too, and make you
more faithful” (St. J. Escriva. Furrow. 341).

28:12. As described in the biblical text, the ladder which Jacob sees in his
dream (which might have been like the staircases in Mesopotamian or Egyptian
temples, copied in turn in the shrines of Canaan) is filled with deep symbolism:
it is the link between heaven and earth. Some Fathers of the Church interpret
this ladder as being divine providence, which reaches earth through the ministry
of angels; others see it as a sign of the Incarnation of Christ (who is of the line
of Jacob), for the Incarnation is truly the time when divine and human join, since
Christ is true God and true man.

In St John’s Gospel we see Jacob’s dream fulfilled in the glorification of Jesus
through his death on the cross: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven
opened, and the angels or God ascending and descending upon the Son of man”
(Jn 1:5 1). And so other prominent interpreters see Jacob’s ladder as represen-
ting the cross, whereby Christ and Christians attain the glory of heaven. St Ber-
nard applied the symbolism of the ladder to the Blessed Virgin: “She is the lad-
der of Jacob, which has twelve rungs, counting the two sides. The right-hand
side is disdain for oneself out of love for God; the left-hand side is disdain for the
world, for love for the Kingdom. The ascent up its twelve rungs represents the
degrees of humility. [...] By these rungs angels ascend and men are raised up...”
(”Sermo ad Beatam Virginem”, 4).

28:14. Once more, divine revelation makes it clear that the reason for choosing
the people of Israel (a choice now confirmed to Jacob) is to have the blessing of
God reach all nations (cf. 12:3), and to let all men, created as they are in God’s
image and likeness (cf. 1:26), benefit from that choice. The fact that God chose
one people does not mean that he has put a limit on his goodness; it is simply
the way that he, the Creator of all, chose to make his fatherly call reach the ears
of all. “Connected with the mystery of creation is the “mystery of the election”,
which in a special way shaped the history of the people whose spiritual father is
Abraham by virtue of his faith. Nevertheless, through this people which journeys
forward through the history both of the Old Covenant and of the New, that mys-
tery of election refers to every man and woman, to the whole great human family.
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithful-
ness to you’ (Jer 31:3)” (”Dives in Misericordiae”, 4).

28:20. St John Chrysostom comments that the words “will give me bread to eat”
were endorsed by Jesus in the Our Father: “Give us this day our daily bread”:
“Let us request of him no material things beyond this. I mean, it would be quite
inappropriate to ask of such a generous giver, who enjoys such an abundance
of power, things that will dissolve with this present life and undergo great trans-
formation and decay. All such things are, in fact, human, whether you refer to
wealth, or power, or human glory. Let us instead ask for what lasts forever, for
what is permanent’ (”Homiliae in Genesim”, 54, 5).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

15 posted on 07/03/2011 10:55:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Matthew 9:18-26

The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter

[18] While He (Jesus) was speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt
before Him, saying, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on
her, and she will live.” [19] And Jesus rose and followed him, with His disciples.

The Curing of the Woman with a Hemorrhage

[20] And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years
came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment; [21] for she said to
herself, “If I only touch His garment, I shall be made well.” [22] Jesus turned,
and seeing her He said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”
And instantly the woman was made well. [23] And when Jesus came to the
ruler’s house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, [24]
He said, “Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.”And they laughed at Him.
[25] But when the crowd had been put outside, He went in and took her by the
hand, and the girl arose. [26] And the report of this went through all that district.


18-26. Here are two miracles which occur almost simultaneously. From parallel
passages in Mark (5:21-43) and Luke (8:40-56) we know that the “ruler” (of the
synagogue) referred to here was called Jairus. The Gospels report Jesus raising
three people to life—this girl, the son of the widow of Nain, and Lazarus. In each
case the identity of the person is clearly given.

This account shows us, once again, the role faith plays in Jesus’ saving actions.
In the case of the woman with the hemorrhage we should note that Jesus is won
over by her sincerity and faith: she does not let obstacles get in her way. Simi-
larly, Jairus does not care what people will say; a prominent person in his city,
he humbles himself before Jesus for all to see.

18. “Knelt before Him”: the eastern way of showing respect to God or to impor-
tant people. In the liturgy, especially in the presence of the Blessed Eucharist,
reverences are a legitimate and appropriate external sign of internal faith and

23. “The flute players”: engaged to provide music at wakes and funerals.

24. “Depart, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping”: Jesus says the same thing
about Lazarus: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him”
(John 11:11).

Although Jesus speaks of sleep, there is no question of the girl—or Lazarus, later
—not being dead. For our Lord there is only one true death—that of eternal punish-
ment (cf. Matthew 10:28).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

16 posted on 07/03/2011 10:55:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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